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A Story From: United States
Read Time: ["10 to 15mins"]
For Ages: 8 to 10yrs.

Chasing a porcupine up a tall tree, Sapana is lured to her capture.
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The above story is retold by Elaine L. Lindy. ©2006.  All rights reserved.


The Arapaho Native Americans from eastern Colorado and Wyoming fit the image popularly described as "Plains Indians"- roaming the plains as big-game hunters, living in teepees and following the buffalo for sustenance. At the time of the 1990 census there were close to 7,000 Arapaho in the United States.
One source traces the origin of this story to "Arapaho Caddo." However this author believes the story is more accurately sourced to the Arapaho than to the Caddo. The Caddo is a tribe that eventually lived near the Arapaho in Oklahoma and Texas (the Arapho originating from the midwest plains and the Caddo from the southeast). While the two tribes may have influenced one another or intermarried, the Caddo were historically farmers, not hunters. This story is told from the point of view of a Native American hunting culture, and so it more likely originated with the Arapaho..

Cottonwood trees are one of the largest trees in North America, growing up to 100 feet tall with massive trunks over 5 feet in diameter. Its shaking, shimmering leaves are reminiscent of poplars and aspens, tree species that share the same botanical family. The cottonwood is well adapted to life on the prairie and was historically valued for its shade, wood, and welcomed from afar by travelers for its known proximity to water. Its fluffy white seeds, produced by the female cottonwood, give the tree its name.